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Inspired by People: Alisa of Laadi Designs

When looking for people to work with at Ocelot Market we have two criteria 1. are they nice people? and 2. are they making an impact in a community in...

When looking for people to work with at Ocelot Market we have two criteria 1. are they nice people? and 2. are they making an impact in a community in a big way. It took maybe a minute for us to realize the powerhouse women behind Laadi Designs would check both boxes.

Laadi Designs is a contemporary brand working with artisans outside Oaxaca and inside Teotitlan de Valle. They combine traditional loom techniques with modern designs to bring fresh shoes and accessories to the table. Not only are they working with natural materials on the ground floor of an artisan community but they are also giving back a portion of sales to She’s the First, providing education to girls in need.

Their impact is impressive and their products are so cute. We are so excited to partner with Laadi Designs to spread their work to the US. We sat down with Alisa to learn more about her world.



What is it that attracted you to work in Mexico? What keeps your coming back?

Mexico has such phenomenal artisans. In many areas, these artists are improving their lives and establishing themselves as world class artists. I love the bright colors, the culture, and also the food! Oaxaca also has amazing weather.

Where is your favorite place to go in Oaxaca?

I love visiting the artist's houses where I can see our work in action and talk face to face with our partners. Our artisans live outside the city. In side the city, there are so many places I visit each time. I love seeing the independent stores where local Oaxacan designers are creating new cool products. I love going to the famous restaurant Casa Oaxaca, although it's expensive I splurge each time. The food is amazing.

Laadi Designs (@laadidesigns) • Instagram photos and videos 2018-11-01 22-14-58.png

Top 3 favorite instagram accounts to follow?

@sustainablychic, @thekeepboutique, @hastalavistaexports

If you could have breakfast with anyone in the world, who would it be?

Iris Apfel

If time could stand still for a day, what would you do?

It would eliminate the “not enough time to exercise” excuse so I would go for a strenuous hike and take a long nap after.

Bright and bold or earthy neutrals?

Bright and Bold!!

Laadi Designs (@laadidesigns) • Instagram photos and videos 2018-11-01 22-08-46.png

Where does the name Laadi Design come from?

Laadi means "weaving" in Zapotec. Our artisans all speak Zapotec and all of our products are based on hand woven weavings.

How did you choose to work with She’s the First?

We wanted to work with an organization that supports girls education. Amber and I both have young girls and believe very strongly in women's empowerment. We wanted to give other girls the opportunity to get an education like our daughters will.

Laadi Designs (@laadidesigns) • Instagram photos and videos 2018-11-01 21-51-18.png

In what ways do you think we can all contribute on a daily basis to a better world?

Be kind and compassionate! I am trying to teach my young daughters how to be kind at school and think how other might feel. If we'd all think about other's perspective, the world would be a better place.

What’s your favorite piece you have ever produced with Laadi?

I am most proud of the Rainbow Gladiator sandals. They are so funky and different but the fit is great and people love them!


What other words would you use or connect to the word “artisan” that have meaning to you?

Talented artisans, traditional artisans, women artisans

Do you have a market find either in your house or in your wardrobe that is your favorite?

My husband and I picked up a black and white shield in a market in South Africa. They are made by the Bamileke people of Cameroon. I've found a perfect place for it in my dining room.


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